If we work together, we can treble the size of our platinum industry. Why don’t we? Minerals Council South Africa has an already-drafted plan to take South Africa from the $11-billion-a-year business that it is today to the $35-billion-a-year, yes dollar, business it could be.
The hydrogen, fuel cell and green economy is already in so many countries, so we need to speed up. South Africa has the good fortune of being at the heart of it through its treasure chest of platinum-group metals (PGMs). How should we approach things? Firstly, get the Minerals Council, government and the development banks to market the magic of our PGMs globally jointly, and then we look to local manufacturing opportunities at the other end of the supply chain.
Seasoned campaigner Vinay Somera identifies PGM-linked membrane electrode assemblies and fuel cell catalysts as the early-stage manufacturing sweet spots. Manufacture these for export, and once passivated, bring them back for recycling in a closed-loop model. New word thinking, all the way.